Gourmet Recipes for One is a resource of simple, delicious recipes that focus on cooking for one. Single-serving recipes are featured as well as ideas and inspiration for achieving a well-balanced lifestyle.

10 tips for a better budget


I have to admit, I hate doing taxes. Mostly because my desk is piled high with folders, all containing printed receipts from a thousand different things, peeking out from inside them (ah, the life of a freelancer!). But I have finally finished them and like I do every year around this time, I start analyzing my budget and where my pennies go. I know I’m not the most budget-conscious, but I do try. And I’d like to think that every year, I try just a little bit harder. Here are a few of my favorite tips to get (and keep you) on track:

1. cook more. It sounds easy and in fact, it is! There are so many easy (and delicious!) recipes on this site – all you need to do is to start searching, either by ingredient, or category. Get inspired! Try something new…
2. plan out the week. This is really important. Every week before I head out to do my shopping, I make a list (and I love lists so this is fun!) Plan out what you think you’ll cook for the week, and make good use of all of your ingredients. I especially like to plan to make different recipes using the same ingredients: think asparagus soup one night, asparagus pesto the next etc. Same ingredient, totally different meals.
3. shop smart. Once you’ve got your list, then head out to shop. But be sure to stay focused and buy only what you need and…
4. stick to the list. This is a must! Buy only what you’ve planned out for the week so you avoid coming home with extra things that you don’t know what to do with (and that may go bad before you figure it out!)
5. eat before you shop. This is another very key thing about grocery shopping. If you’re hungry when you shop, you’re more apt to impulse buy (and spend more money).
6. eat more fruits + veggies. Yes, we all know this to be true but in fact, eating more of them is better on your budget too. If this sounds utterly possibly for you, swap them out entirely for just 1 day a week. Even that little change will help. Trust me.
7. go out to eat less often. Along the lines of cooking more means going out less. This includes breakfast in the morning because you were running late, to grabbing lunch. If you make the majority of your meals yourself, you will appreciate the ones you don’t even more. I love going out to eat but I only do it sparingly. Why? Because it saves on my budget, and makes me really look forward to the times I do splurge.
8. duplicate meals when it makes sense. I’m not a big fan of making one large batch of something and eating it all week (how boring!) but there are some things that are in fact good to make in larger batches (and freeze or use later in the week). Thinks pesto, hummus etc.
9. entertain more. If you did end up with something that you just can’t finish in time, call up your friends and have an impromptu party. It spares you from wasting it, and gives you a reason to get together with friends.
10. start a garden. A container garden is all you need to get started and is a perfect way to be sure to always have fresh herbs at the ready (and if you have more space for more options, all the better). If you don’t know where to start, click here.


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